Veteran Noonan has shooting boots on in Galaxy win


Outstanding debut: Impressive Galaxy goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, center, knocks the ball over FC Dallas defender George John and midfielder Andrew Jacobson in the 1-1 tie Saturday at Home Depot Center. The former Peurto Rico Islanders teammate of regular starter Josh Saunders – who missed the game due to personal issues – was calm and assured between the posts and may be needed Wednesday in Seattle against the Sounders. It’s unclear if Saunders will return by then. (AP Photo).

*Staff Writer Phil Collin has the game story.

*I Tweeted the game here.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chivas USA crumble in Colorado

Colorado Rapids 4 Chivas USA 0


*Game story.

*The Rapids perspective from our sister newspaper The Denver Post


@BlackArmy1850: “@soccermusings: A bad loss happens once in a while, but the issues behind this loss are ultimately ongoing problems.” #WhatsWrongFraser

@UnionUltras: Robin, we hope you don’t find anything positive out of tonight! #It’sGettingOld

@BlackArmy1850: “@rachnakk: @soccermusings also sometimes I feel like this team is on a tape. Same games every week” #WhatsWrongFraser

@BlackArmy1850: Fraser was it our possession? Fraser was us being aggressive? Fraser was it our finish? Fraser was our defense? #WhatsWrongFraser

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

MLS Saturday Soccer: Galaxy face Dallas in Carson, Chivas USA in Colorado against Rapids


In a mirror image of last weekend’s MLS games involving local teams last week’s game-saver, penalty kick stopping goalkeeper Josh Saunders, and the Galaxy face Dallas at the Home Depot Center (live at 7:30 p.m. on KDOC), while Chivas USA hope to emulate their intracity rival’s accomplishment by beating the Colorado Rapids at home (live at 6 p.m. on Prime and KWHY), while notching a fourth successive victory on the road this season.

After being forced to open the club wallet in the wake of last week’s rough outing against the Philadelphia Union, Chivas USA will hope events on the field overshadow those off it, although the club will again miss veteran striker Alejandro Moreno, who has added a concussion to the two broken noses he has already suffered this season.

Here’s a Chivas USA video preview:

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Bad Timing of the Year Award goes to … Barcelona for making this LA-oriented announcement the day after crashing out of the UEFA Champions League


Can’t you just see the slogan for this youth camp: Yes, kids, you too can learn how to miss a penalty like Lionel Messi.

Hey, at least the former David Beckham Academy field at Home Depot Center is still available:

LOS ANGELES >(AP) — Soccer power Barcelona has licensed its name to the company All American Sports Enterprises Inc. to open youth camps in the United States.

The company said Wednesday that camps will be held in July and August in Los Angeles; New York; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio; San Jose, Calif.; and Seattle. A technical team from the Escola youth program will travel from Spain “to oversee preparation and execution.”

Escola is a feeder to Barcelona’s La Masia residential youth academy, which has produced a large percentage of the current first team.

Barcelona has licensed its name to youth programs in Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, England, India, Singapore, Slovenia and South Korea.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Who knew the last two days would answer the question…

What do Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Kaka and Sergio Ramos have in common? (Answer below)


Ronaldo Rubbish: Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after missing a penalty against Bayern Munich in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League (AP Photo).

All of these undoubtedly brilliant players capable of changing a game did just that in the last two days — by missing a penalty apiece. Ramos in particular deserves a special mention for his stupendously abysmal attempt (kids, please do not try that at home).

And now neither Barcelona nor Real Madrid will play for the UEFA Champions League title next month.


So does this kill Jose Mourinho’s chances of managing Chelsea again then, huh?

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekly column: The EPL season reaches its climax*

*Post updated below


Down and out? Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea reacts after Everton’s fourth goal and second in two minutes to deny Sir Alex ferguson’s men the win — and possibly the EPL title (APF Photo).

Don’t you just love this time of year when it comes to soccer?

Today at 11:30 a.m. we have the first of three Champions League games this week — two from Europe, the other from CONCACAF – when Barcelona attempt to overcome a 1-0 deficit to Chelsea in the second leg of their semifinal (live on Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes).

Personally, I’ve barely had time to catch my breath from a stunning turn of events Sunday in the EPL and if you don’t know what I’m talking about click here to read this week’s column.

Now comes the question — where are you going to watch Monday’s pivotal game?

At least that was on the mind of one Harbor Area reader (I’ll keep his identity a secret in case he has to call in sick to work Monday) who sent this email that landed in my inbox at 6:05 a.m.:

Just read your article on Monday’s game. Love your soccer coverage and wish we could get more of it. My brother and I are two of those Americans who have become huge EPL fans the past few years. Usually we TIVO the Monday games and watch at night but we are both planning on taking Monday off work and watching the game live. We want to watch it at a pub and soak in the atmosphere. Can you recommend one? We were thinking of the Cock and Bull in Santa Monica but we live in San Pedro. I am not sure if there is a good place closer than S.M. Any recommendations?

Ah, the age-old dilemma: Watch from home in comfort and peace, but miss the camraderie of fellow fans or head out to a local bar or pub and hope you can actually find a seat for a big game.

Well, a list of soccer-friendly pubs in Southern California I made for the last World Cup still lives on here, but always call before you go because by now some of the information is outdated.

If I lived in San Pedro I’d give this pub a call and see how many football fans they’re expecting, while the San Pedro Fish Market made a special effort to welcome soccer fans during the 2010 World Cup.

Anyone else have any other specific suggestions?

And a general word of warning to anyone trying to get through the door of an English pub in Santa Monica or The Underground in Hermosa Beach on Monday — get there early.

And, of course, MLS announced today that top English (and clubs from other nations) will again play in the U.S. this summer in the 2012 World Football Challenge for those who just can’t get enough.


ESPN announced today it has moved coverage of the game from ESPN2 to ESPN, marking the first time the channel has aired a midweek EPL game.

“Given the magnitude of this match, we wanted to take advantage of the live SportsCenter lead-in to incorporate our on-site resources in previewing what will be the biggest match of the season in the Barclays Premier League,” said Brian Kweder, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

MLS SoCal Roundup: Two dominating performances, two different results


Colorado Rapids 1 Galaxy 2

It was a road win the Galaxy deserved, dominating Colorado and taking a 2-0 lead only for a non existent PK call (c’mon MLS refs you have to actually see contact, especially in the box, not just assume it occurs if an attacker goes down) to jeopardize the win late on. Fortunately, justice was done as Omar Cummings produced a simply dreadful attempted coversion and a grateful Josh Saunders had the relatively simply matter of scooping up the ball, extinguishing the danger and sealing the win.

Game story here.

Match highlights here:


Chivas USA 0 Union 1

Chivas USA, meanwhile, are still figuring out how to turn superiority into three points despite largely outplaying their young opponents and dominating possession (66 percent compared to 34 percent).

Staff Writer Phil Collin has the game story.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Saturday Soccer: Born of Frustration, Galaxy, Chivas USA seek continued progress

Chivas USA have turned one goal losses into road wins on the back of the second-best defence in the Western Conference.

The Galaxy have traded chronic defensive frailty for a measure of defensive stability.

Both local MLS teams will attempt to capitalize on their modest advances today against potentially vulnerable opponents.

The Galaxy are in Colorado tonight to take on the Rapids (6 p.m. KDOC/KWHY) who have one win in their last four games, while Chivas USA are at home against a very young Philadelphia team (7:30 p.m. Prime) that would seem ripe for the home side to record their first-ever victory over.

Staff Writer Phil Collin has more from both the Chivas USA and Galaxy camps.

Here’s more from the Galaxy:

And yeah, James were pretty good at the San Diego HOB Thursday between Coachella appearances in case you were wondering about the relatively obscure indie rock reference in the headline and seemed to set the tone for the MLS weekend:

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Former Galaxy striker Gomez gives Torreon something to cheer


Most of us, I suspect, will be more interested in the UEFA Champions League game going on today than the CONCACAF version.

But a Los Angeles native (who deserves a call-up to the national team) is set to play a key role in today’s regional Champions League game and provide a welcome diversion to a city torn by drug violence. Here’s more on the 7 p.m. game on Fox Soccer between Monterrey and Santos Laguna from the Associated Press:

TORREON, Mexico (AP) — Gunfire crackled during the game, with players and referees running for cover.

Outside Santos Laguna’s soccer stadium, gunmen had opened fire on a police patrol. No one was killed this time. This was just the daily fallout from the drug cartel violence that engulfs this city in northern Mexico.

That was eight months ago.

Fast forward to next week, when the same stadium will be the main stage for a big moment in Mexican sports. Santos Laguna will try to win the CONCACAF Champions League against Mexico rival Monterrey. The winner of the two-leg finals advances to Tokyo for the Club World Cup, which was won last year by Spanish giant Barcelona.

“It’d be really nice to give these people something to be proud of, for Torreon to be put on the global scale for something other than negativity or violence,” said Herculez Gomez, the American striker and the team’s top scorer. “They live, they eat, they breath this team out here.”

Los Angeles native Gomez grew up in Las Vegas and played in the last World Cup for the U.S. He transferred to the first-division team in December from the Mexican club Estudiantes Tecos.


Hot shot: Herculez Gomez, second from left, has 11 goals in his last eight games for Santos Laguna (AP Photo).

“I was definitely worried coming in,” he said. “You fear what you don’t know. I’d heard great things about the club, that they were a top-notch club, very professional; very new-age as far as Mexican football goes. I came and that’s exactly what I saw.”

Santos Laguna plays the first leg Wednesday at Monterrey with the second leg on April 25 at Santos’ Corona Stadium.

Santos has been close to success recently, losing three of the last four finals for the Mexican League championship. The team is near the top again this season, thanks in part to the ownership and financial might of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo.

Much of the credit goes to Alejandro Irarragorri, the club president who took over in 2006 and is intent on keeping the team competitive. He has visited European powerhouses such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City and has tried to learn from those models. The club also has close links with Celtic in Scotland and has showed its ambition by signing Spanish midfielder Marc Crosas, a product of Barcelona’s youth system.

“Our vision is that of a business, and when one wants to learn important things you have to look to the leaders, and it is clear that European leagues are leaders in all aspects,” Irarragorri said.

The team’s Territorio Santos Modelo complex — opened in 2009, and housing the stadium, youth team housing, training facilities and eventually a shopping mall and hotel — is one of the most modern sports facilities in Mexico.

But the city has had myriad problems linked to the drug war. A government assault on organized crime has been accompanied by violence that has left more than 47,000 people dead nationwide since President Felipe Calderon deployed thousands of federal police and soldiers shortly after taking office in 2006.

In Torreon, nightclubs closed because of the violence and bars shut early. Get-togethers in homes are the norm with the drug-related turf war between the Sinaloa and Zeta cartels ravaging the city. The army and state police patrol the streets, and the U.S. government advises its citizens not to go to Torreon.

“The city of Torreon had a murder rate of more than 40 per 100,000 population between January and August of 2011,” the U.S. government said in a statement “You should defer all nonessential travel.”

Despite the fear and chaos, Santos regularly fills its 30,000-seat stadium on the outskirts of the city.

“With all this violence, the stadium has become like a meeting point for the city,” taxi driver Aaron Ramirez said. “It would mean a lot here to get to the Club World Cup.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chivas USA signs second-highest scorer in Colombian league

He’s 19-year-old striker Jose Erick Correa, who most recently played for Boyac Chico FC, Chivas USA officials announced today.

“He’s a great young talent that will come and help us right away, and also learn a lot from our experienced forwards like Juan Pablo Angel and Alejandro Moreno,” said Chivas USA General Manager Jose Domene. “He is a player that is very interesting because he’s big, strong and fast. He’s young, so we look forward to having him around for many years. He is currently the second leading scorer in Colombia (Liga Postobn), when we first looked at him he was leading the league, and he just received a call up the Colombian National Team, so that is great for us and for him.”

The national team camp started Monday, Chivas USA officials said. It’s unclear when he will join the club.

Chivas USA has badly needed depth up front this season. With striker Juan Pablo Angel battling concussion symptoms for much of the year, Chivas USA has scored just four goals in six MLS games.

Correa scored six goals in 12 games in the most recent season in Colombia, two of them last Saturday.

He becomes the 32nd player from Colombia in MLS, more than any other nation.

There are 225 foreigners in MLS from 64 nations, a diversity unmatched by any other major American sports league.

The MLS transfer window closed Monday and reopens June 27. That means only free agents can be signed until then.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email